Quiltketeers, it's happening! After weeks of sewing quilt blocks we are finally on to something completely new and totally different. Welcome to Week 8 of the Modern Fans Quilt Sew-Along! The land of no more aimless block-making, but chain piecing!
This week you have one mission, should you choose to accept it: Chain piece all of your blocks into rows. If you haven't done it before, you'll need at lease 5 minutes to wrap your head around the concept.
However, once you do it once, BAM! You are sold for life. And that's an SQ promise.
If you're learning about this sew-along for the first time, you can still jump on board. However, you'll need to play some serious catch up if you want to have a finished quilt top by Week 9. The one thing working in your favor is that the Week 9 grand prize is the best motivation. Cause IT'S A SEWING MACHINE!
And not just a sewing machine. No, no, no. That's not how we do things around here. The grand prize for finishing your Modern Fans quilt top (must be at least a throw size) is a BERNINA 350 PE!
Here's a blog post with all of the info you need and below is a quick recap of the schedule. If you ever feel lost and want to know what's going on with the sew-along, click the Sew-Along tab underneath the BLOG category in the toolbar.
Sew-Along Schedule Recap
- Week 1, Sept. 12: Pick fabric, gather supplies, choose your pattern layout
- Week 2, Sept. 19: Cut and chain piece strips, cut out all templates
- Week 3, Sept. 26: Sew 14 blocks
- Week 4, Oct. 3: Sew 14 blocks
- Week 5, Oct. 10: Sew 12 blocks
- Week 6, Oct. 17: Sew 12 blocks
- Week 7, Oct. 24: Sew 12 blocks
- Week 8, Oct. 31: Chain piece rows together
- Week 9, Nov. 7: Sew rows together for a finished quilt top!
- Plastic template sheets (The Suzy Quilts Patterns Facebook group has come with some really unique alternatives to these plastic template sheets. Some of them include cardboard from frozen pizza boxes and these flexible cutting boards.)
- 7 ½" square ruler (this is really going to help you square up your blocks)
- Starch (I starch my fabric before cutting and then use steam and a Tailor's Clapper when pressing blocks.)
- Small rotary cutter (makes cutting curves easier)
- Rotating Cutting Mat
- Magnetic pin bracelet (cause it's awesome)
Chain Piecing Rows
Chain piecing your quilt rows is a fabulous way to save time, save yourself from constantly getting out of your chair, and save you the headache of blocks getting out of order. Rather than sewing blocks one at a time into rows, this week in the sew-along, we are going to batch sew all of our rows at the same time.
This technique will leave you with finished horizontal rows attached to their neighboring rows by thread. If you're scratching your head wondering what I'm trying to say, take a look at this video I made last summer. It should clear up any confusion.
Oh, and before you ask, "How did you stick your quilt blocks to the wall? Am I missing something?" Nope, you're not missing anything, but you may be missing out if you don't have a design wall of some kind. In this video I stuck a piece of queen-sized cotton batting to my wall with Command strips.
Since filming that, I've purchased this portable design wall so I can tear it down when I'm not using it. (Believe it or not, but a piece of thread-covered batting isn't not a very pretty thing to hand on your wall when a quilt isn't in process.)
Below you can see the finished row sets connected by thread.
Week 8: The Prize!
We just passed out $50 to Stash Fabrics and are giving out $50 more to Sew Shabby Quilting! I met Melissa, the owner of Sew Shabby Quilting, a couple years ago while attending Quilt Market and immediately loved her. You can actually read about how much I loved her here, in my quickie recap of Quilt Market blog post.
I'm also excited to let you in on a great longarm quilting discount! Trace Creek Quilting in St. Louis, MO is pleased to offer a 25% discount on edge to edge quilting for anyone participating in the Modern Fans Quilt Sew-Along. They offer a flat $10 return shipping fee and guarantee a 4 week turnaround through February on this special. Simply follow Trace Creek Quilting on Facebook or Instagram and send your quilts our way. Drop offs are welcome should you be local though we are happy to receive quilts from all over the U.S.
Please visit the website, tracecreekquilting.com for details on quilt prep, additional services offered, and the mail-in form.
How to Win the Week 7 Prize:
- Photo prompt for Instagram: Post a picture of progress sewing your Modern Fans quilt and use #ModernFansSA. You don't need to post your chain-pieced rows, just some sewing progress.
- You must have a public Instagram profile to participate.
- Each photo posted is an entry and you can enter as many times as you want in a single week. Once the week is over, those posts do not count in the next week's giveaway. Every week we start fresh.
- This prize is open to international contestants. Yay!
- Your photo must be posted between 12:00 a.m. CT on Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2018 and 1:00 p.m. CT on Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018.
- The winner will be picked randomly from all qualifying posts and announced on Instagram at approximately 4:00 p.m. CT on Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018.
Clarification on the grand prize: Just a reminder that the grand prize for finishing your quilt top by the final week (Week 9) is a BERNINA 350 PE sewing machine! To enter the Week 9 giveaway you must post a picture of a finished quilt top that is at least a throw-size or larger. The quilt top can be in various stages of being quilted or it can be completely quilted and finished. We just need to see that you have pieced all of your blocks together.
If you post that picture during Week 7 or Week 8 IT WILL NOT ENTER you in the grand prize giveaway. Just like every other week, Week 9 starts completely fresh with a clean slate.
Have you ever chain pieced quilt rows before? Do you have any tips you've gathered through experience? I'd love to hear them and I've love to hear about your new love of curves! Or lack of love. That too. 😉